Monday, June 11, 2012

Bangladesh Saint(s)

Hazrat Kebla Kaba was born on 15th January, 1826; corresponding to 1st Magh of 1233 Bangla Calendar Year. A renowned religious scholar and spiritual leader Hazrat Mohiuddin Ibn Arabi predicted the birth of HazratKebla Kaba even 586 years before his birth. He also predicted that the whole world would be enlightened by the knowledge and spiritual power of Hazrat kebla Kaba. Soon after the birth of Hazrat Kebla Kaba, his father was directed by the Prophet (SM) to name his son as ‘Ahmed Ullah’. Upon completion of secondary education in Chittagong, Hazrat Kebla kaba joined Calcutta Alia Madrasha in India for his higher studies in Islamic religion and philosophy. Throughout his academic life, Hazrat Kebla Kaba demonstrated his utmost brilliance and unique ability, which could not be achieved without the highest level of spiritual competence bestowed by Allah himself. Upon completion of his studies, Hazrat Kebla Kaba took up the job of Jessore District Judge but a year later; he resigned at his own will. He then accepted a teaching position in a religious college in Calcutta. Along with this assignment, Hazrat Kebla Kaba engaged himself preaching the teachings of Islam among the people, and addressing public in religious gatherings.
During his stay in Calcutta, Hazrat Kebla Kaba came with the close connection of two great religious scholars and high-powered spiritual personalities – Shah Sufi Hazrat Abu Shahama Muhammad Saleh Al-Quaderi Lahori and Kutubul Aktab Shah Sufi Hazrat Delwar Ali Pakbaz. Hazrat Kebla Kaba got blessings from these two towering personalities and broadened his spiritual domain for the well being of the whole world. Since then, his concentration in religious and spiritual activities has increased tremendously. Most of his time he devoted in the meditation of Allah. After few years of staying in Calcutta, Hazrat Kebla Kaba came back home. At the age of 32, Hazrat got married, but even after his marriage, instead of devoting in worldly affairs, he concentrated more on Allah’s meditation. Through this meditation he used to grasp the mystery of Almighty’s creation and tried to understand the true sense and spirit of humanity. Over the time, the issue of Hazrat Kebla Kaba’s spiritual endowment had been gradually known among the people at home and abroad. People from all walks of life started coming to him for his spiritual blessing. Within a short span of time, the name of Maizbhandar Sharif was spread as the centre for peace and pilgrimage for the people, irrespective of their status and position in the society. Hazrat Kebla Kaba used to give patient hearings to everyone who came to him and solved their problems through his spiritual blessings.
Even before he saw the person, Hazrat Kebla Kaba could tell his/her desire. In fact, through the eye contact with him, many people achieved the highest level of spiritual power. There are numerous instances, which can illustrate the great spiritual strengths of Hazrat Kebla Kaba. Through these events, (in the Sufi Language such mysterious events are termed as "Karamat") perhaps, the Allah, Himself wanted to make the spiritual power and attainment of Hazrat Kebla Kaba public for the greater well-being of the entire universe. Only few "Karamats" are being documented, but many of them are not even known to us. He saved people from various miseries, showed the path of Allah, and blessed many with his magnanimous spiritual power. Hazrat Kebla Kaba never opted for any worldly gain or fame. On the contrary, throughout his life he directed all his activities for guiding the people in the right path and ensuring a continuous betterment of humanity. That’s why people from every sphere of the society spontaneously used to come for his blessings. Dedicating his life for the cause of Allah and humanity, as per the desire of Allah, Hazrat Kebla Kaba left this world on 23rd January, 1906, corresponding to 10th Magh of 1313 of Bengali Calendar Year. Countless devotees gather on this day every year in Maizbhandar Sharif to rejuvenate their minds and seek blessings of Allah. 


Hazrat Shah Jalal (R) was a major sufi saint of Bengal and is the most celebrated personality of the region of Sylhet, Bangladesh. Shah Jalal (R) commands great respect of Muslims of the subcontinent and is regarded as a national hero by Bangladeshis. Shah Jalal's name is associated with the Muslim conquest of Sylhet, of which he is considered to be the main figure. He lies buried at Sylhet, Bangladesh.

Early Life & Education Born Shaikh Makhdum Jalal ad-Deen bin Mohammed, he was later affectionately renamed Shaikh-ul-Mashaikh Hazrat Shah Jalal al-Mujarrad (the last name meaning "the bachelor", on account of his celibacy). Shah Jalal's date and place of birth is unclear. Various traditions, folklore and hostorical documents suggest different ideas. A number of scholars claim that he was born in 1271 in Konya, Turkey, and later moved to Yemen, either as a child or adult, while others contest he was born in Yemen. He was the son of a Turkish Muslim cleric, who was a contemporary of the famous Persian poet and Sufi saint, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi. He was educated and raised by his maternal uncle, Syed Ahmed Kabir, in Makkah. He excelled in his studies and became a Hafiz (one who has committed the Qur'an to memory) and was proficient in Islamic theology. He achieved Kamaliyat (spiritual perfection) after 30 years of study and meditation.
Travel to India
According to legend, his uncle, Sheikh Kabir, one day gave Shah Jalal a handful of earth and asked him to travel to Hindustan with the instruction that he should settle down at whichever place in Hindustan whose earth matched completely in smell and color the earth he was given, and he should devote his life for the propagation and establishment of Islam there.
Shah Jalal journeyed eastward and reached India in c. 1300, where he met with many great scholars and mystics. He arrived at Ajmer, where he met the great Sufi mystic and scholar, Pir Khawaja Gharibnawaz Muinuddin Hasan Chisty, who is credited with the spread of Islam in India. In Delhi, he met with Nizam Uddin Aulia, another major Sufi mystic and scholar.
Conquest of Sylhet
Tradition goes that a Hindu king named Gaur Govinda ruled the Sylhet area, then predominantly Hindu. Sheikh Burhanuddin, a Muslim who lived in the territory under his control once sacrificed a cow to celebrate the birth of his son. A kite snatched a piece of flesh of the slaughtered cow and it fell from its beak on the house of a Brahmin Hindu, for whom cows were sacred. According to another tradition, the piece of flesh fell on the temple of the king himself, which he took as a great offence. At the order of the king, Burhanuddin's hands were said to have been cut off and his son killed. Burhanuddin went to the Sultan of Gaur, Shamsuddin Firuz Shah, to whom he submitted a prayer for justice. The Sultan accordingly sent an army under the command of his nephew Sikandar Khan Ghazi. He was, however, defeated twice by Gaur Govinda. The Sultan then ordered his Sipahsalar (armed forces chief) Nasiruddin to lead the war.
At this time, Shah Jalal (R) was requested by Nizam Uddin to travel to Sylhet to rescue Sheikh Burhan Uddin. With his 360 followers, some of whom were with him from Yemen and others from Delhi, including his nephew Hazrat Shah Paran, he reached Bengal and joined the Muslim army in the Sylhet campaign.
Knowing that Shah Jalal was advancing towards Sylhet, Raja Gaur Govinda, the king, removed all ferry boats from the river Surma, thereby cutting off any means of crossing into Sylhet. Legend has it that Shah Jalal crossed the river Surma by sitting on a Jainamaz (prayer rug). Upon reaching the opposite bank, he ordered the azan (call to prayer) to be sounded, at which the magnificent palace of Gaur Govinda shattered. With Shah Jalal's help, the king was defeated by the Muslim armies after a fierce battle, and the King subsequently fled.
Later Life
According to legend, Shah Jalal found a match to the earth his uncle once gave him, and according to his uncle's wishes, he settled down in Sylhet, near Choukidhiki. It is from here that he preached Islam and became a celebrated Muslim figure in Bengal. He and his disciples travelled and settled as far as Mymensingh and Dhaka to spread the teachings of Islam, such as Shah Paran in Sylhet, Shah Malek Yemeni in Dhaka, Syed Ahmad Kolla Shahid in Comilla, Syed Nasiruddin in the region of Pargana Taraf, Haji Daria and Shaikh Ali Yemeni.
Shah Jalal's fame extended across the Muslim world. The Persian explorer, Ibn Battuta, came to Sylhet and met with Shah Jalal. The great Mughal poet, Hazrat Amir Khusrau gives an account of Shah Jalal's conquest of Sylhet in his book "Afdalul Hawaade". Even today in Hadramaut, Yemen, Sheikh Makhdum Jalaluddin's name is established in folklore.
The exact date of his death is unknown, but he is reported by Ibn Battuta to have died in 746 AH (1347 A.D). He left behind no descendants, as he remained a bachelor his entire life, hence the name "al-Mujarrad" ("the unmarried"). He is buried in Sylhet in his Dargah (tomb), which is located in a neighbourhood now known as Dargah Mohalla, named for his Dargah. His shrine is a siginificant place of interest in Sylhet, with hundreds of devotees visiting daily. At the Dargah is also located the largest Masjid in Sylhet and one of the largest in Bangladesh.